We live in the millennial generation where we want instant gratifications. We have everything at our fingertips these days and we have come to think that we can download a relationship just as simply by swiping on Tinder.
We assume that once we have fallen in love, the relationship will continue to function on its own and remain the same as it was in the beginning. We think that we can get all the benefits of the relationship, without putting in the time, effort or care required to nurture it
But the fact of the matter is, relationships don’t work that way and in the course of time –without any effort or care on our part; deteriorate automatically.
In Spain, a wise quote states: “El amor no se encuentra, se construye”, translated: “True Love isn’t found, it’s built”.
Here are few simple and practical tips to imbibe into our lives to enhance our chances of building a beautiful, fulfilling and long-lasting relationship:
1) Let your partner be the first person you go to; to share important news.
Whenever there is important news to share, turn to your partner. Communicating and sharing the important events happening in your lives on a consistent basis with your partner builds a sense of belongingness and intimacy.
It shows that you consider your partners as a team and you want to have them beside you to celebrate every important milestone.
2) Express gratitude and affection for your partner
Do not take your partner or relationship for granted. Take out time to appreciate and thank your partner for the efforts that they put to nurture the relationship.
Express gratitude and affection for your partner on the consistent basis. It will make them feel reciprocated and valued for.
3) Engage in hobbies and activities together
Try and find more creative ways to connect and bond more deeply with one another. Rather than always going for happy hours and coffee dates, find out new hobbies and activities that you can explore together as a couple.
It will help you to uncover new and different facets of your (and) your partner’s personality and you will get to know each other better.
4) Find a higher purpose or goal
Couples who come together for a higher purpose or goal have better chances of being in successful, fulfilling and long-lasting relationships than couples who engage in codependent relationships.
Instead of engaging in petty attention seeking games, healthy couples devote their time and energy to work together for a higher purpose or goal and their shared purpose keeps them happy and together.
5) Stay authentic and realistic with one other
If you cannot be 100% authentic, honest and vulnerable with your partner, then who can you be authentic with?
Healthy couples give each other space to be their authentic selves.
The give each other honest feedback and reality check when required. They are always honest and realistic with one other.
6) Be willing to work hard for your relationship
“I define love thus: The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” – M. Scott Peck
True love requires effort and willingness to act in loving ways even if one does not feel like loving –for the ultimate purpose of our, our partner’s (and our relationship’s ) growth.
Successful couples recognize the fact that relationships require effort and hard work and they are willing to work at it.
7) Spend quality time with one other
It is not just the quantity of time that we spend with others that make them feel loved and cared for but the quality of time.
Successful couples make sure that they spend lots of quality time with each other. They give each other their undivided attention whenever they are together and listen attentively. They cherish the time they spend with each other and try to sneak in quality moments together in their busy schedules.
8) Acknowledge and encourage each other’s individuality
Love is a beautiful companionship between two people who come together and help each other to reach their highest potential without losing their individuality in the process.
A genuine lover always acknowledges and encourages the unique individuality of his partner.
In a successful and mature relationship, both partners give each other the space to fulfill their own destinies. They work on developing their talents and gifts, spend time in solitude, pursue their goals and hobbies, and come back to the union to share their gifts and nurture each other.
“I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
9) Accept one other as is
True love requires accepting your partner as they are and also encouraging them to reach their highest potential.
Successful couples do not try to change their partners. They love them for who they are.
Yes, they motivate their partners to grow but not they do not come from a place of “you’re not good enough for me as you are” but they come from a place of “I want you to grow and become the highest possible version of yourself because I want the best for you.”
10) Handle conflicts and arguments maturely
All of us are different individuals and no two people think alike on all subjects. Therefore, it is very natural to have the difference of opinion and arguments with your partner.
But successful couples handle conflicts and arguments in a mature way. They do not put their partner down or find faults with them or play the one up game.
Instead, they keep an open mind and try to find a solution and meet their partner midway.
11) Practice patience and kindness towards each other.
We are all human and we are bound to make mistakes.
Successful couples acknowledge the fact that no one is perfect and they make it a point to be as patient and kind with their partner as possible.
12) Understand your emotions before you act on them
When we are under the spell of intense emotions, we sometimes misjudge a situation and overreact.
Successful couples take time to observe and reflect on their emotions on their own before they go and express them to their partners in unhealthy ways.
They do not act on impulse or in the heat of the moment. They take time off and respond instead of reacting.
13) Understand that love is also separateness
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of heaven dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but each one of you be
alone – even as the strings of a lute are alone though the quiver
with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not in each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and Cyprus grow not in each other’s shadows.” – Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran describes so beautifully the intricacies of a healthy relationship.
We usually fall into the trap of codependency, making the other person responsible for our happiness and how we feel. We aim to become “one “as most love songs and fairy tales teach.
But real togetherness and real potential for growth can only from relationships between two evolved beings who take full responsibility for their lives.W hen they can live without each other.
They come into the connection to add to it rather than seeking to fulfill a sense of lack and experience extremely enriching and fulfilling relationships.
Successful couples know that love is also separateness and they grow together instead of draining each other.
14) Become best friends with your partner
“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
The initial high and euphoria of falling in love don’t last forever. It is the compatibility; intimacy and friendship that make the couples stay together for the long haul.
Successful couples work at being each other’s best friends. They become each other’s cheerleaders and honest critiques. They work towards common goals and support each other like best friends. They always have each other’s back.
15) Understand each other’s love languages.
Gary Chapman outlined 5 ways in which people experience and express love. They are:
- Receiving gifts
- Quality time
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service (devotion)
- Physical touch
He suggested that to find out a person’s love language one should observe how they express love towards others and analyze what they complain about is lacking in their relationship.
A person tends to give love in the way that they prefer to receive love but they fail to take into account that their partner’s love language may be different than theirs.
Successful couples take out the time to understand each other’s love languages and communicate with them in that.
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